Brown rice syrup (BRS) is a wonderful substitute for plain old refined sugar. Like its name implies, it is made from brown rice; therefore, it is considered a complex carbohydrate and generally accepted as a better sweetener than refined sugar which is a simple sugar. It also has a lower glycemic index than regular sugar, making it ideal for diabetics or anyone looking for a healthier alternative to refined sugar.
Brown rice syrup is similar in appearance, texture, and flavor to honey. It even smells a little like honey. Some say BRS has a buttery, caramel-like flavor, but don’t think you’re going to be eating anything that tastes like caramel candies! Even though it has a similar flavor to honey, I found that it did not alter the taste of my recipes. Feel free to use it in your recipes wherever you would use regular sugar.
Substituting brown rice syrup for sugar can be a challenge since one is granulated and the other is a liquid, and BRS is only half as sweet as refined sugar, but it can be done successfully. Just remember a few important tips when using BRS in place of regular sugar.
BRS is not as sweet as sugar, so you will need to use approximately 1 and 1/3 Cup of BRS to 1 Cup of sugar.
BRS is a liquid, so you will need to reduce the other liquids in your recipe. Reduce other liquids by about 1/4 Cup for every 1Cup of BRS.
For reasons beyond my scientific knowledge, it’s a good idea to include 1/4 teaspoon of baking soda per 1 Cup of brown rice syrup.
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I made a chocolate mousse using brown rice syrup, and the texture was heavenly. I believe refined sugar would have made the mousse gritty, but the BRS gave the mousse a smooth, rich texture. In some instances, a liquid form of sugar is actually preferred and BRS is the perfect solution.
As you can see, it does take some planning and tweaking to use brown rice syrup in your current recipes, but its health benefits are truly worth the effort.
Refined sugar is terrible for your body, so why don’t you try this wonderful alternative.
Sugar is great – if it’s not refined. Better sugars do exist and it’s easy and painless to incorporate them into your life.
grains of rice
Image by ttarvind Single-polished basmati rice. Not nearly as good as parboiled matta rice, but that's become next to impossible to find in the West nowadays, thanks to an export ban.
Tinkyada Brown Rice Pasta
Image by Peter Baer Tinkyada spaghetti style brown rice pasta. The package says it's 'not mushy' but even cooking it al dente and rinsing the pasta it's still pasty and mushy. It doesn't taste bad but the texture is definitely not spaghetti like, more along the line of chow mein noodles. I added capers, sun dried tomatoes, butter, chicken stock and pepper.
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